Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crafty Wednesday : Organisation

Artfully blurred fabric shelf.
I admit, I don't often think carefully about organising a room or craft area until I'm in the thick of it. Then I realise I can't find anything and it actually looks quite messy, and something must be done about it. Immediately. Then I often have a cup of tea and forget about it. Until I need to find something, then it's an immediate nightmare.

Enter my Craft Room. It's actually the dining room, but we don't dine in there often (ever). When I began sewing more often Mr S suggested it would be a great room for sewing in. We set up some bookshelves for fabric and Mr S created a nook for my sewing machine and overlocker to live in.

Admittedly, I'd already started pulling everything out to tidy...
but it wasn't far from this in the beginning. Eek!
As I began to sew more the fabric expanded. And expanded. And I realised I had a fabric problem. 'Hi, my name is Amy, and I cannot leave any bolt of fabric unfondled.'

I started looking around for lovely ways to store ones fabric. I found a few tutorials, but nothing was going to work for my little space.

I had seen Emily from Joyful Abode's fabric shelf, and asked her how she wound her fabric. She pointed me towards these comic book boards on Amazon, but the price and shipping to Australia was not worthwhile. I talked to my friends at Spicer's Paper, but to get the amount of board I needed shipped and trimmed was going to cost more than I was willing to pay.

I mentioned my project to my friend Wolfgang, who does his own framing for his jaw-droppingly beautiful photography. He ducked out to his studio and came back with an armful of foam core board offcuts. Exactly what I needed! Thankfully Wolfie's 'offcuts' are neatly trimmed, all same size long lengths of foam core board.

I started trimming the board to 12-12.5in lengths (30-31cm) and taking my larger pieces of fabric and winding them around. Angels sang. It looks so tidy and professional and is oh so easy to do. Given the placement of my bookshelf I'll need to make a curtain for the bookshelf to protect the fabric from the sun.

Winding... winding.
(Sadly, I really enjoyed this part!)
After I'd used all the board I realised that I still had a disgusting amount of fabric that needed winding, and a lot of really disorganised crates of fabric offcuts and smaller pieces.

I started being ruthless and throwing smaller odd shaped pieces out, which is hard for a 'One day I'll use that' packrat like myself. I also made a basket of Fat Quarters and Not Quite Fat Quarters. I emptied my Sewing Book basket, only to find seven notebooks and three sewing books. That was easy to organise! I also had a stash of crochet and knitting books that I'm finding new homes for.

I had to find new homes in our one storage cupboard in the house for my letterpress kit and Epic Six die cutting machine. I felt like I was on fire, for usually by the time objects need rehoming I begin to hyperventilate and need a good lie down. Once this was completed I fist pumped the air, removed Millie from the linen cupboard and thought about eating some biscuits.

It is by no means completed - there's another basket of fabric to be wound and pinned, which will lead to reorganising the shelves again in order to fit the wound fabric boards on.

Top shelf:
Towelling for bibs and wound fabric.
Second shelf: tub of fabric to be wound, basket of fat quarters and not quite fat quarters, and basket of wadding and interfacing.
Third shelf: machine pedals, basket of projects on the go and completed projects.
Bottom shelf: a bag of stuffing, my nail kit, my Music Memories box and my Family Memories Box. You can see they've been Millie'd.
Left: Ironing board.
Right: Thick wadding for dolly quilts, my mending pile (oh my) and my overlocker box.

I'm somewhat ashamed to say I really enjoyed cleaning up my area. It makes me want to spend more time in there, crafting and sewing. Or just writing lists.

How do you organise your craft area? Sewing, paper crafts, crochet or knitting - tell me about it!


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